When I decided that I wanted to make a sinfully chocolate dessert for Christmas dinner with my siblings I went in search of recipes. There were brownies and cakes, truffles and pots de creme, bread puddings and pies to choose from, but none were quite right to finish off our night of gluttony. Then I came across this recipe and while it wasn’t perfect, it was workable.

What we have here is a shortbread type of crust which uses pretzels, rather than nuts, for a bit of texture. The filling is a basic ganache, and it’s topped with simple creme fraiche (but you could also substitute whipped cream, ice cream, or even a yogurt dollop). It is rich, silky, not too sweet, and absolutely lovely is small servings. It pairs very nicely with a cup of coffee too. 😉



  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups coarsely crushed pretzels
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • sea salt, crushed pretzels and creme fraiche, for serving


  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with 3/4 cup of the pretzels and the confectioners’ sugar at a low speed until creamy
  2. Beat in the flour and egg
  3. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of pretzels, being sure to leave some pretzel pieces intact
  4. Flatten the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  6. Roll out the dough between the sheets of plastic wrap to the size of your tart pan
  7. Press the dough into the tart pan and patch any tears, trim the overhanging dough and refrigerate the shell for another 30 minutes
  8. Line the shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights (you can substitute a cake pan for the pie weights)
  9. Bake the shell for 30 minutes
  10. Remove the parchment and weights and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, until the tart shell is firm and just browned
  11. Let the shell cool completely, then brush the melted chocolate over the bottom and up the side and refrigerate for 10 minutes
  12. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer, then take it off of the heat and add the chocolate and let it stand for 5 minutes
  13. Whisk until smooth, then add the vanilla (or you can substitute any liqueur) and sea salt
  14. Transfer the filling to a bowl and let it cool to room temp for about an hour
  15. Pour the filling into the shell and refrigerate until set (about 4 hours)
  16. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and crushed pretzels. Cut into wedges, top with creme fraiche (or other topping of your choice) and serve